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Startscreen of game
Game No. 67
Voting 8.46 points, 52 votes
Developer Chris Yates
Company Sensible Software
Publisher Ocean
Musician Martin Galway
HVSC-File MUSICIANS/G/Galway_Martin/Wizball.sid
Release 1987
Platform C64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Amiga, Atari
Genre Shoot'em Up - H-Scrolling
Gamemode Single player
up to 4 players (in turns)
2 players (simultaneous)
Operation Icon Port2 1.pngJoystick
Media Datassette Diskette
Language Language:english
Information Beta version was named Wizzball

Description[edit | edit source]

After the evil Zark has deprived Wizworld of all colours, Wizard Wiz and his cat Nifta take off to make their grey world coloured again.

Wizworld consists of several layers between which the wizard and his cat can switch via tubes and craters. In each layer various enemies are lurking, but also the colour drops in demand. Those drops first have to be shot by the wizard before the can be collected by the cat.

Unfortunately, this is not quite as easy as it may appear; Wiz starts his quest alone. At the beginning, he can only bounce up and down with his Wizball in a rather uncoordinated manner. With some upgrades shaped like pearls and activated with joystick wiggling you can enhance his manoeuvrability, get extra weaponry and finally conjure up the cat, who can either be controlled by keeping the fire button pushed down or by a second player via the other joystick port.

In each level you have to mix a certain colour. Usually you have to visit several layers, because you only get the basic colours and have to combine them. The layers only provide drops of a certain colour.

When the needed colour drops are collected, a bonus level is launched, providing upgrades, score and even extra lives if you hang on long enough without collision. After the bonus level Wiz mixes the colours in his house, while Nifta refreshes herself. During this sequence the player may chose a permanent upgrade which remains active even after the loss of a life.

Design[edit | edit source]

... the normal game - Cat is catching drops of colour ...
... the bonus level and the Wiz lab ...

The title screen is rather simple, but very colourful due to raster bar effects. The same is true for the actual game, after some colour has been collected.

Hints[edit | edit source]

When you press space in the start screen, you are provided with Wiztips, a short manual.

You can play the game alone, in a team (player two controls the cat) or a multiplayer mode by turns. So in fact it is possible that up to four players participate when two teams play against each other.

Games options in the start screen[edit | edit source]

  • One Player - one player controls Wizball and Catelite
  • Two Player - one player against another in turns
  • Two Player Team - Wiz and Cat with each its own controls play together
  • Three Player - a team against a single player in turns
  • Four Player - a team against another team in turns
  • By pressing the "space" key you can call up a short manual (see Wiztips).

Controls[edit | edit source]

  • With joystick 1 (port is defined by a press on the fire button) the one player option WIZ and CATELITE at the same time is controlled and in the 2-, 3-, and 4-player option WIZ alone.
  • With joystick 2 CATELITE is controlled in the 2-, 3-, and 4-player option.
  • Joystick left - makes Wizball rotate counter-clockwise
  • Joystick right - makes Wizball rotate clockwise
  • press fire button - use chosen weapon
  • In all directions and press fire button - control Catelite in the one player mode (keep fire button pressed)
  • Joystick left and right - shaking left/right chooses the extra that is flashing at the upper border of the screen

Icons[edit | edit source]

When certain aliens are hit, they leave a green pearl behind that stays motionless on the screen. If Wizball collects this, the first icon on the upper rim of the screen starts to flash, which shows that Wiz can choose the extra which this icon displays. If you want to choose another extra you need to collect more green perls until the corresponding icon lights up.
The icons from left to right:

  • Icon 1
    Thrust - gives Wiz more control over the Wizball and allows him to move it right and left.
    Anti Grav - gives Wiz total control over the Wizball and stops the bouncing.
  • Icon 2
    Beam - Wiz will be equipped with "Supa-Beam" (shield above/below)
    Double - Wiz and Cat will be equipped with double-sided shooting
  • Icon 3
    Catelite - Wiz gets his cat
  • Icon 4
    Blazers - Wiz and Cat are equipped with a stronger laser
  • Icon 5
    Wiz Spray - spray shot for Wiz
    Cat Spray - spray shot for Cat (not both of them can own the spray shot)
  • Icon 6
    Smart Bomb - destroys every enemy on the screen
  • Icon 7
    Shields - protective shield for Wiz and Cat for a short time

Wiztips[edit | edit source]

... the icons and enemies ...
... the types of colour drops ...
... some tips ...

  • Filth Raid - Light blue: A wave of fast-moving enemies appear, shooting bullets at the player.
  • Indestructacat - Grey: - Gives Catellite 128 lives instead of the usual nine.
  • Bonus Wizball - White: Gives an extra life.
  • Mutant Cat - Purple: - Makes Catellite disobey the player's controls.
  • Freaky Bits - Black: Turns most of the scenery black.

Solution[edit | edit source]

Colour mixtures

Level 1 100% red 50% red + 50% blue 50% green + 50% blue
Level 2 25% red + 50% green + 25% blue 75% red + 25% green 50% red + 50% green
Level 3 100% blue 50% red + 50% blue 50% green + 50% blue
Level 4 25% red + 50% green + 25% blue 100% green 50% red + 50% green
Level 5 100% red 75% red + 25% green 50% green + 50% blue
Level 6 100% blue 50% red + 50% blue 50% red + 50% green
Level 7 100% red 50% red + 50% blue 50% red + 50% green
Level 8 25% red + 50% green + 25% blue 50% red + 25% green + 25% blue 50% green + 50% blue

Map of the passages between the levels/layers

Level 1 I  --------------------------------------------H---
Level 2 I  -H----------------------------------------------
Level 3 I  --------------------------------------------H---
Level 4 I  -D-H-D--------------------------------------D---
Level 5 I  -D------------------------------------------H---
Level 6 I  -H-D----------------------------------------D---
Level 7 I  --------------------------------------------D---
Level 8 I  ------------------------------------------------
(H=high, D=down)

Cheats[edit | edit source]

  • Type in "borewiz" (without inverted commas) in the player selection screen to make Wizball invulnerable except for the bonus level.
  • The version by "Remember" has next to a saveable highscore list and a manual also all types of cheat modes.

Voting[edit | edit source]

Voting of the C64-Wiki-Users (10=the best vote):
8.46 points at 52 votes (rank 35).
You need to be logged in to cast a vote.
C64Games 10 21st December 2013 - "highlight" - 20628 downs
Gamebase64 10 "Classic!" (European version)
Lemon64 9 21st December 2013 - 8,5 out of 10 points - 242 votes
Ready64 9 16th July 2014 - 8,5 out of 10 points - 18 votes
Kultboy.com 9 21st December 2013 - 8,75 out of 10 points - 42 votes
The Legacy 9 21st December 2013 - "excellent" - 23 votes
ASM 8 Issue September 1987 - 10 out of 12 points
Happy Computer 9 Special no. 21 April 1986 - 92%
Games Special August 1987 - 92%
ZZap64 10 Issue July 1987 - 96% - p.14
Issue November 1987 - 98% - p.106
Issue November 1988 - 97% - p.50
Computer & Videogames 8 Issue August 1987 - 8 out of 10 points - p. 23
Commodore Format 9 Issue May 1994 - 85% - p.22
Commodore Force 10 Issue September 1993 - 96% - p.16
Commodore User 9 Issue June 1987 - 8 out of 10 points - p.34
Issue September 1989 - 92% - p.55
Your Commodore 10 Issue August 1987 - 10 out of 10 points - p.65

Reviews[edit | edit source]

1570: "A well-done game with an interesting concept. Pretty nice with two players, but very soon boring when played alone."

Robotron2084: "Absolutely overrated if not even boring to death. The game is just too simple as soon as the extras are collected. The speed is not enhanced. Instead you often search the last alien survivor of a level for minutes, just to pass the very soon annoying bonus sequence again and again. If you get a bonus life and yawn "Not again!", then you know that something is wrong with the game. I had not played it for ten years and won't do it again very soon. Technically, the game is almost perfect, but the almost inexistent action pulls my rating down drastically: 6 of 10 points!"

Shmendric: "I evaluate Wizball similar to Bubble Bobble or Mafia by Igelsoft: a great multiplayer game, that you can take out every now and then to make a small session, but in single player mode? No, thank you, there is really more exciting stuff, it is only good in such games to practice a bit :) I have played Wizball at the end of the 80s for hours and hours with a friend in a team and therefore give 9 points, I would add the tenth if the one player mode would be any good. Concerning graphics, sound and controls - flawless, there is nothing to complain about :)"

Flodder: "Here you can see how especially with games the opinions can differ a lot. For me Wizball is still today pure magic! Alone the glamorous graphics - and above all the sound effects that are hidden in this game, fascinate me until today. There is not more to get out of the C64. You should take some time when you have a quiet moment and look at the complete intro. There are games where such an amount of programming skill is not even found in the whole game. The fun in the game when playing in twos is the absolute hit, but also when played alone Wizball is still good for a small trip to a magial world. The game idea until today stands out pleasantly from the eternal pabulum of pickup-shoot-jump. In fact, the bonus sequence is rather long, if you do not need the extra life you can end it any time by a controlled "suicide" where no life is subtracted. For me an absoulte milestone in the history of computer games, not only of the C64. 10 of 10!"

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]

Early version[edit | edit source]

An early image from the brandnew C64 game "Wizzball" [Happy Computer 3/87]

Ocean presented to Happy Computer an early version with the name "Wizzball" in February 1987. Even then the scrolling and the "water melon" - pawn were impressive ...

Graphical conversion of the cover[edit | edit source]

An inofficial title image of Wizball

A "fan made" title screen, inspired by the cover ...

Cover[edit | edit source]

Front Cover

Cover as pixel graphic[edit | edit source]

Another Title Screen of Wizball

Disk label[edit | edit source]


Highscore[edit | edit source]

Topscore of Sigma 7
  1. Sigma 7 - 379.610 (13.03.2023)
  2. Robotron2084 - 197.210 (19.09.2007)
  3. TheRyk - 93.940 (20.10.2010)
  4. Werner - 50.780 (01.05.2007)

#2 Robotron2084 #3 TheRyk
#2 Robotron2084 #3 TheRyk

Links[edit | edit source]

WP-W11.png Wikipedia: Wizball